Glasgow & West Scotland

'Super battery' for Scottish Power's Whitelee wind farm

battery Image copyright Scottish Power
Image caption The battery storage site will be the size of half a football pitch

A huge "super battery" will be built on the site of the UK's largest wind farm, after plans were approved by the Scottish government.

It will store power generated by the 215 turbines at Whitelee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor, near Glasgow.

Scottish Power, which operates the wind farm, said the battery storage site would be the size of half a football pitch.

Its planned capacity will make it largest wind farm battery in the UK.

The energy firm said the facility would support the National Grid in maintaining the resilience and stability of the electricity grid, even when the wind is not blowing.

It will be able to achieve full charge in less than half an hour.

The battery can been fully discharged or used in bursts as and when required to keep the electricity network stable by balancing supply and demand.

Image copyright Chris James
Image caption The battery will store power generated by 215 wind turbines at Whitelee

Last year Scottish Power became the first major UK energy company to say it would generate all its energy from wind power instead of oil and gas.

Its chief executive, Keith Anderson, described the plans for the battery storage site as a "significant step".

"We know that renewable energy generation needs to quadruple and we know that onshore wind is the cheapest form of green energy," he said.

"By integrating storage technologies with onshore wind, we are blowing away one of the myths about renewable generation not being available when you need it.

"Natural resources like wind and solar are variable in their very nature, and by using a battery we can ensure we optimise our ability to use the resource most effectively."

Vacant land

He added: "If we are to meet the bold target of net-zero by 2050 and deliver the decarbonisation of our economy, transport and heating systems, large battery storage facilities such as this along with more wind farms like Whitelee are crucial."

South Lanarkshire Council approved the battery plans in May but Scottish ministers have now approved the proposals.

It will be built on vacant land within the Ardochrig substation compound which lies to the eastern edge of the existing wind farm site.

Installation work is expected to begin early next year, with the facility fully operational by the end of 2020.

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